It's _____ Fault!
It's ______ fault!
For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse. - Romans 1:20
Who ate the chocolate? If you search YouTube, you will find several videos of children who were filmed by their parents with chocolate on their faces. The parents are questioning these children to find out if they would tell the truth and admit to eating the chocolate they were not supposed to have. In all of these videos, one after the other, these children openly deny doing what they are accused of doing, but the evidence is in their faces. Still, some of them dare to blame their little brothers.
We have all been guilty of playing the blame game. Let's be honest for a moment. Our society loves to blame others for its own problems.
If we look at politics in the United States, the blame game will be quite obvious. Democrats blame Republicans, Republicans blame Democrats. Liberals blame conservatives; and vice versa. Whenever something bad happens, we immediately find someone or something to blame for the problem. Why? Because we love playing the blame game and who likes to take the blame?
There is a false belief that there is always someone or something external responsible for every action or mistake we make. We live in a society where people have difficulty taking personal responsibility for their actions.
Did you know that in the United States there is a special day for this? It's called "National Blame Someone Else Day." This day was invented by a Michigan woman in 1982. One day, her alarm didn't ring, creating a domino effect of “bad luck” events throughout the day. Since the day happened to be Friday the 13th, the observance takes place on the first Friday the 13th of each year.
We blame the clock, we blame the boss, we blame the parents, we blame the children. Someone is always to blame but me.
This is nothing new. I want to show you some examples of people in Scripture who shifted the blame to someone else instead of taking responsibility. Then, we will discuss the things we cannot blame others for and end by talking about where we can place the blame and how to take responsibility for our actions.
Throughout the Bible, we find many examples of people who did not take responsibility for their own actions or behaviors, but instead blamed others for their mistakes.
Adam and Eve
The first place we see the blame game is in the Garden of Eden. God instructed man not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17). However, we all know what happened (Gen. 3). The serpent tempted Eve and she ate the fruit. Eve then tempted Adam and he ate the forbidden fruit. Then they saw their sin and hid themselves from the sight of God. When God called them, they began to blame whoever made them sin.
Gen. 3:12-13 – “The man said, “The woman whom you gave me, she gave me some fruit from the tree and I ate it.” So the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman replied, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” Adam blamed the woman, then he even blamed God for giving him that woman. Eve quickly blamed the serpent. But really, whose fault was it that Adam and Eve fell into sin? Theirs! It was by their own actions, their own will, their own decision, their own flesh that caused them to fall from grace.
How many times have we heard people say “the devil made me do it”? If ever there were two people who could have used that excuse, it was Adam and Eve, but notice that the devil didn't force them to do anything. The devil tempted them, but he did not make them sin.
The same is still true today. People are still guilty of the same things. The Bible tells us what things God wants us to avoid. God gave the commandment, not in a single tree, but in 10 firm stone commandments telling us not to do this and that. He tells us that the results of doing those things He has forbidden us to do will cause us problems. But what happens? We look at sin and say, “That's no big deal.” So, when we participate in what God condemns and punishment comes, we do not accept responsibility, and it is always someone else's fault. People do this all the time in our society.
Cain and Abel
Another example is recorded shortly after Adam and Eve. Scripture tells us that Adam and Eve had two sons: Cain and Abel (Gen. 4:1-2). The story tells us that the Lord accepted Abel's offering, but did not accept Cain or his offering, so this caused Cain to become very angry and jealous. Instead of accepting the blame and taking responsibility for his unacceptable offering to God, he saw that the problem was not him, but Abel. Abel was the problem and because of Abel, God did not accept him. Out of jealousy, Cain rose up and murdered his brother because Abel offered a better sacrifice to God. After the cruel murder, the Scriptures say in Genesis 4:9 – “Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” And he replied, “I don’t know! Am I my brother’s guardian?”" Cain killed Abel and blamed him.
Abram and Sarai
The Scriptures also tell us about the misfortune of Abram and Sarai. They were both elderly, they had always wanted to have a child, but Sarai was barren. God had promised them that they would have a son and that their descendants would be innumerable. But, instead of waiting for God's opportune moment, Sarai wanted to take the situation into her hands and rush things a little. Therefore, Sarai told her husband to have relations with her servant, Hagar, so that she could have a son. Abram listened to his wife and had relations with Hagar (Gen. 16:2-3).
But what happened? When Hagar learned that she was pregnant, she began to treat Sarai with contempt. Then Sarai said to Abram, “This is all your fault!” Oh really? Genesis 16:5 – “Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! I gave my servant into your embrace, but when she realized that she was pregnant, she despised me. May the Lord judge between you and me!””
Jacob and Esau
The next story takes us to Genesis 25. Abraham fathered Isaac. Isaac married Rebecca and they had Jacob and Esau. Jacob and Esau were twin brothers; Esau was the first to be born, so he was considered the eldest son. Being the eldest, he had the right to birthright. Isaac loved Esau and Rebecca loved Jacob. One day Esau came home hungry and saw Jacob in the kitchen preparing a red stew. Jacob, being a cheater, made a deal with his brother. He would feed him if he sold him his birthright. Worrying more about his belly than his future, Esau sold his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew. After Isaac gave the inheritance to Jacob, Esau became enraged and even swore to kill his brother. But... whose fault was it?
Scripture tells us where Esau laid the blame: Genesis 27:36 – “Esau exclaimed, “Jacob is the right name for him! He has tripped me up two times! He took away my birthright, and now, look, he has taken away my blessing!” Then he asked, “Have you not kept back a blessing for me?””
Moses and Aaron
Let's move on to the book of Exodus. In this next story we find ourselves in the desert on the way to the Promised Land after Moses had led the nation of Israel out of Egypt. God chose Aaron (the first high priest) to be Moses' helper or second in charge. When Moses went up to Mount Sinai to receive the tablets of testimony (Ex. 30), he took longer than expected to hear from God the commandments that he was going to give to the people.
During these 40 days that Moses was on the mountain with God, the people grew tired of waiting and asked Aaron to make them a god so they could follow him to a better place (Ex. 32:1). God told Moses to return to the people because they had become corrupt. When Moses returned from the mountain, he saw all the sin and folly the Israelites were committing. He watched them worship the golden calf and immediately confronted Aaron for allowing this to happen.
Whose fault was it?
Look how the Word says Aaron responded: Exodus 32:22-24 – “Aaron said, “Do not let your anger burn hot, my lord; you know these people, that they tend to evil. 23 They said to me, ‘Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this fellow Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’ 24 So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, break it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and this calf came out.”” Aaron blamed the people.
Pilate and the Jews
Even during the crucifixion of Jesus, the blame game was evident. Do you remember what Pilate did? First, he had Jesus brutally beaten. Then, finding no fault that justified Jesus' execution, he allowed the people to make the decision to choose between releasing Jesus or Barabbas (Matt. 27:20-21).
When the people chose the murder of Jesus, the Scripture says that Pilate did this... Matthew 27:24 – “When Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but that instead a riot was starting, he took some water, washed his hands before the crowd and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood. You take care of it yourselves!””
Whose fault was it? Pilate blamed the people, but the one who handed Jesus over to be crucified was himself.
Romans 1:20 – “For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.”
Alone and without excuses, each of us will one day stand before God to account for everything, absolutely everything, of our lives. The choices and decisions we have made. The friends we have chosen. The deeds we have committed and the words we have spoken will be revealed. The books will be opened and everything will be exposed (Revelation 20:12).
The central doctrines of Christianity help us see that no one but ourselves is responsible for the ATTITUDES we have formed, the ACTIONS we have favored, the CONDITIONS we have fostered, and the AFFILIATIONS we have formed. When we accept personal responsibility in these areas, then, and only then, will we have the power to change them.
God tells us, through the apostle Paul, that no one, absolutely no one, will be excused or able to blame another person for the things he/she has done. Paul goes on in verses 21-32 to give us some examples, a list of sins (not all, there are others, this was not intended to be an exclusive list) for which we cannot pass the blame on to another person, and they will be one's own responsibility.
Things we can't blame others for (according to what Paul is telling us in this chapter)...
You cannot blame others for your salvation and eternal life (or lack thereof).
You can't blame others for your understanding (or lack thereof).
You can't blame others for your spirituality (or lack thereof).
You cannot blame others for your sins.
So if we can't blame others for our failures, who do we blame? The answer is found in Galatians 6:7-8 – “Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows, because the person who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.”
You always reap what you sow.
Therefore, this last fragment of the message is very important: We have to accept and take responsibility for our actions. How do we hold ourselves accountable? The answer is in 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.”
Look for ways to glorify God in everything you do and plan to do.
Find ways to love your neighbor.
Look for ways to bring salvation to the lost.
Seek ways to become Christlike.
By: Gabriel Mejías
Faith Like Coffee: Bold and Strong